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Coffee Parts Story - 1999 till today

Coffee Parts was originally started in 1999 by the legendary Domingos Laranjinha (my father so am going to call him a legend) in order to be able to rebuild his beloved 1961 Faema e61. In the late 1990's buying parts in Australia was nearly impossible without begging or being in the inner circle of the coffee machine companies. Prices were determined on face value or friendships and all Domingos wanted was a few spare parts to keep his baby going. So he contacted family in Italy and got some seals sent over for his Faema e61 and for some machines which his friends owned. Soon he was getting more parts sent over for friends of friends, and that's where it all started.

 

Dom Lara at Coffee Parts 1999

 

Then came 2005 and that's where my official journey started. I feel honored to be able to continue in his legacy, supplying the products we love, to the industry we adore!! Combining my love for hospitality with tech has been a dream, and seeing the Australian Coffee scene evolve over the years has been magical.

 

Come in, say hi and have a coffee with me.

 

Regards,

Pedro Lara

 

 

PS. If you feel like looking back down memory lane, here is a timeline of our journey from 1999 to 2019...


1999 - Where it all started 370b New Caterbury Rd

Coffee Parts actually started from home, yet quickly moved into a small shop in Dulwich Hill. At the time Dom's wife, my mum, Cilinia had an e-commerce company called CG Web Designers and this helped Dom start Coffee Parts as a pure play online store right from the get go.


2002 - Cilinia checking online orders

Dom was a visionary, knew what we wanted to build, but the tech brains was his wife Cilinia. So shortly after Coffee Parts started, Cilinia found herself helping Dom out more and more. Building out systems to automate as much as possible. Yet automation in this era was very limited compared to what's possible today. Like every family business, after school I found myself at the shop helping out more and more.


2003 - Barista Competitions were a super niche community

As the Australian coffee scene was finding it place, barista competitions and trade shows started appearing. This was a very different era to the coffee scene of today, where companies like Allpress, Campos and Toby's were startups, Cafetto was not around as yet (actually started after long chats between Dom and Chris Short), and Paul Basset wasn't a house hold name.


2003 - Early coffee trade shows

Trade shows of 2003 had no custom built designer stands. They were actually all about fold up plastic tables and passion. The industry had a real buzz about it, felt early, and roasters would collaborate and experiment together. I was fresh out of school, now at UNSW and helping Dom out during my study breaks. The industry was far from cool at this stage, but man did it have an infectious energy.


2004 - Time to move and build a real warehouse

Coffee Parts was growing, and the shop we were in was due to be knocked down. So it was time to get a real warehouse and build a space with love. Once again, being a family business this meant I was there after Uni to help Dom build out this vision.


2004 - Dom standing planning out his vision

Dom was a passionate dreamer in love with coffee and art. He had been a part of the hospitality world since he arrived in Australia from Portugal in 1987, and wanted to build not only Coffee Parts, but a space where the coffee industry could collaborate on neutral ground. He believed with collaboration and love, innovation occurred. Super technically minded, and in many ways ahead of his time.


2005 - The warehouse Dom built

Dom built his dream warehouse, and many in the coffee industry would spend hours with Dom sitting around the plastic table, talking, dreaming and being present. Playing with different machine setups in the workshop just behind where this photo was taken. Working out how to best extract their coffees. It was here that the bottomless portafilter first entered the Australia market.

 

Sadly, shortly after this photo was taken, Dom passed away suddenly. He had built the beginning of his vision, but at 45 his heart gave way. Suddenly, Cilinia and I (now 19) entered the world of Coffee Parts full time.


2007 - Out of room, another warehouse fitout

We had outgrown the warehouse Dom built, and I was now finishing uni. A cross roads moment in life, where I felt like I had to decided between holding onto the vision for Coffee Parts created by Dom, or following my career with my peers who had just finished Uni. Being on the UNSW co-op academic scholarship, once I finished Uni I was offered a very attractive corporate job. But, it didn't take me long to know that my heart was with Coffee Parts. Shortly after, I decided virtually overnight to build another, bigger warehouse to not only focus on parts, but also on accessories and home espresso machines..


2008 - Marcello

Over the years, we had a lot of my friends work with us, many just out of passion and love for coffee. Marcello was our first full time employee, who worked with us for 7 years, and made his mark on the Coffee Parts journey. Although looking back now we have had a host of friends work together with Cilinia and I, Marcello truely became part of the family.


2008 - Pedro and the Kees love story

It was now 2008 and the year of the GFC. Everyone was talking recession, and all I could think of was how sexy the Kees Speedster looked. Against the advice of many, and too young to really know what a financial downturn meant, in 2008 we began distributing Kees coffee machines and built a high end home espresso showroom. I still own this machine, and love it as much now as they day I made my first espresso on it.


2008 - Building a home espresso showroom

Mid GFC, and against the advice of accountants and financial planners, not only did we build it a home espresso machine showroom, but it was a hit. I loved these machines, and word of mouth quickly spread. Not sure if we were the first showroom to be built, but we were the only showroom that I knew off. I was actually inspired by the Rick Damelian car showroom where at the time you could view all the best sports cars in one place, and wanted to build this for home espresso. It's crazy to think but this was before the powerhouses of FB/IG/YouTube.


2008 - Explaning ecommerce at trade shows

Looking back at photos from 2008 and thinking back to how we used to spend most of our time explaining how to order online. Many were curious, yet scared. Crazy when you think that at this time in Australia eBay was starting, Amazon wasn't here, and Facebook was a desktop platform where weekend photos were posted.


2012 - Out of room again - Another warehouse fitted out

We were out of room again, so decided to build up another warehouse with a purpose built showroom and online dispatch. And turn the previous warehouse into a stock only warehouse. This warehouse was a fun build, as was about to build it as an extension of who I had become. My fathers vision and my vision had now morphed together, and the Coffee Parts warehouse has become a coffee playground.


2012 - Art has always been a passion of ours

I wanted to build a warehouse as an extension of me. Art has always been a big part of my life, so wanted to have my favourite street artists come in and do murals reflecting the journey. Nearly every wall in the warehouse has a piece of art, both in the form of airbrushing or an installation. Machines have been hung on walls, rare light boxes fitted, custom build scooters with portafilter handles hung from the roof, and water filters turned into features. Wanted Coffee Parts to be a real life gallery, filled with beautiful products and a second home for coffee lovers.


2012 - Damion Alves adding his touches

During the build of this warehouse, while out with friends, I had a massive accident which left me unable function like I normally would of. In a full circle evolution of life, Damion who my father was on the way to have coffee within 2005 when he passed away, had just sold his business and was having a break before opening up another one. For the next two years Damion helped me keep building the quirky warehouse I dreamed off, while I had a full recovery. He then went on to open his own roastery and is the roaster behind the Lara's Touch blend we use today.


2017 - Another warehouse, this time a workshop

When I was a kid, I used to build billie carts while my dad worked on bikes and coffee machines. When Dom built the first shop and the first warehouse they both had workshops, where he could test and innovate. During the evolution of the next two warehouses after that the workshop had disappeared. All the tools were packed up, and I had a sense of something missing. We were also out of room in both warehouses, so we got a third warehouse a built a workshop to test, experiment and build beautiful products. We got all the tools out of storage, and used the same benches Dom had used, while buying all the latest tools. In many ways it was built as a tribute to Dom, and a place where I could connect with our beginnings. This is one of my favourite places of all three warehouses.


2018 - Birthday and custom coffee machines

Coffee, Cakes and Custom Builds. I've always grown up around 2 wheels, competing track cycling at state level, and getting my first motorbike at 12. Had to find a way to bring bikes and coffee together, and then I met Tarn. Tarn builds race bikes and loves coffee. I love coffee and raced bikes. Perfect. Took three years building it together on our spare time, but finally the bike coffee machines was ready for my birthday. I was a happy boy that day!


2018 - Coffee is fun

The boys from Soul Origin, by day they are building a coffee empire, but on their spare time they are clowning around volunteering at the Children's Hospital to make kids smile. They took some time and came around to Coffee Parts. Super fun day! Really is a magical industry to be part off, and super blessed to be able to spend my days in a the world I love.


2019 - And Now

To have been able to build on my father's vision of supplying the products we love, to the industry we adore, has been magical!! We now stock over 150 of the top brands in the world of coffee, and over 12,000 skus from all over the world, most of which can be dispatched the same day from one of our three warehouses. On a personal side, reading the reviews when people receive their coffee gear really makes me smile. There is something magical about knowing you had a positive moment in another life.

 

Combining my love for hospitality with tech has been a dream, and seeing the Australian Coffee scene evolve over the years has been magical. Really excited about the future world of tech and coffee.


Really hope you enjoyed reading through the journey so far, yet this journey is far from over. Both Coffee Parts and I have a long way to go on this journey of life and coffee. And, please, feel free to reach out and come have a coffee with me, bounce ideas or just chit chat.

 

Regards,

Pedro Lara